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Code Master

Lower Age: 8+
Website: http://www.thinkfun.com/products/code-master/
Price: $19.99
Year Added: 2016
Code Master

Code Master™ is a single or multiplayer game that introduces children to the basics of programming through a fun logic-based board game. The goal is to have the character in the game collect gems and make it to a “portal”, placed at a different location on each level. In order to navigate each level, players are given a certain number of action tokens that characters can use to move around the board; however, only certain combinations of action tokens will result in a character successfully collecting all gems and making it to the portal. The more advanced levels include conditional tokens that only allow you to travel if certain conditions are met and also more difficult maps. The game can be played alone, or with a teammate that can help solve the puzzles. The challenges get more difficult at the higher levels, and it is recommended to start from level 1 and work one’s way up. The game promotes engineering thinking and design by having the player think creatively and critically as they work to accomplish a goal with their character. The game incorporates design as players create their own action code that they must successfully use to finish each level. The user is not expected to get the solution correct on the first attempt; instead, the game promotes using a trial and error method to solve each puzzle.

 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Define a problem, learn about the problem, make observations, generate ideas, try the solution, test the solution, redesign the solution, work in a team

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: A problem, criteria, constraints

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Creative thinking, critical thinking, coding, programming, working as a team, problem solving

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “It helps you learn programs and you use your brain.”
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “The children were able to express and use logic in a nontraditional way. The game also gave them vocabulary to use when making decisions or judgements.”
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “Does a great job of teaching kids the basics to coding, and applies it in an environment that kids will enjoy.”